An Entry in the Diary of Alice Mills from The Bright Side of Darkness by Jo Elizabeth Pinto

An Entry in the Diary of Alice Mills from The Bright Side of Darkness by Jo Elizabeth Pinto

I’m Pleased and Privileged to end this WordPress Wednesday with the following post by author and proofreader Jo Elizabeth Pinto.

Before I share Jo’s awesome offering with you, let me say I’ve read the book being featured here and it is in a word, Incredible.

If you’ve teens in your life, I strongly urge you to sit down and read this book as a family. As you read along together take the time to discuss the life lessons within. I promise it will be time well-spent.

Here’s Jo with more…

I recently came across an intriguing prompt for authors interested in sharing their books. The prompt was, “Write a diary entry from the point of view of a character in your novel.”

As Alice Mills bends over the table in her cheery kitchen with the flowered wallpaper, intent on filling a page in her journal, the early morning sun falls across her graying hair. She wears a faded cotton nightgown, and a neglected cup of coffee has turned cold beside her.

September 8, 1986

This morning began like any other Saturday, except I must have been real tired because I didn’t hear Walter get up and go out to the pool. So he’d already come in from swimming laps and started the coffee before I made it to the kitchen. He was flipping through the local newspaper the way he always does. I was about to get him a lemon bar or two I’d brought home from the ladies’ tea at church yesterday, and then he saw something at the back of the paper that put him on a tear!

I couldn’t piece it all together, but it had to do with Rick Myers, the orphan Walter sent to the reformatory a few weeks ago. He came home awful broken up about it that night. The poor kid’s folks had died in a car wreck a few months back, and then to tragically lose his girlfriend while he was trying his best to keep her safe … it really was too much. But there had been alcohol in his blood, and he’d been driving recklessly, even if his reasons were justified. Sometimes being a judge is a heartbreaking job. Walter can’t bring home all the lost boys who need us, So he did what needed doing.

But something must have gone as wrong as it could go at the reform school, because all at once, my unflappable husband jumped up from the kitchen table like he’d been sitting on a mound of fire ants. He bolted for the bedroom, dialing up the head of the reformatory as he went, and the way he lit into that man, Alvin Kingston, well, I was glad to be safe in my own kitchen and not on the other end of the phone line.

Quick like a bunny, Walter came out of the bedroom in a white shirt and dress slacks instead of his bathrobe, still spitting nails about Alvin Kingston. He told me he was going to the hospital to deal with the Myers boy, so I know something awful must have happened. I made sure to settle him down–he needed to forget about Alvin Kingston and focus his attention where it really mattered.

Speaking of focusing, I better put aside this silly diary and get busy. We’ll probably have a new boy living with us again. The bedroom where my baby Arthur grew up never stays empty too long.

The illustrated front cover of "The Bright Side of Darkness: A Novel" by J.E. Pinto. A silhouette sits on the right side of the image, their head in their hands and their elbows on their knees. In front of the shadow, light streams in through a square window with vertical bars, creating a striped pattern on the floor. The room is gray and empty apart from the figure and the obstructed light. The title font is crisp, white, capitol lettering with a faint shadow.

What is a family? For Rick Myers, a despondent seventeen-year-old who has just lost his parents in a car wreck, it’s the four teenage buddies he’s grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, the “crew” is all he has.

At least, he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.

But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future. Fortunately, his life is touched by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes all the difference to Rick and eventually, through him, to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges. “The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit.

I was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, I received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, I earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. These days, I freelance as an editor and a braille proofreader.

As an author, I entertain my readers while giving them food for thought. In my fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, I draw on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.

I live in Colorado with my husband, my preteen daughter, and our pets.

To find out more about my books and me, please visit my Website at


  1. Thanks, Patty.

    1. So, I’m curious, what do you think about the way we formatted your piece?
      And how do you like the book cover’s descriptive text?
      I had Two Pentacles fix it up for you.

      1. I was going to remark on the cover description. It’s very thorough and professional. I like it. I hope we can edit it to include the dandelion, which is very important to the story, but overall, I’m impressed.

  2. Interesting point about the diary entry – seeing events from another point of view. Great idea.

    1. I was intrigued by that approach. 🙂

      1. Hi Jo, sorry about your being stuck in moderation. Doesn’t seem to want to let people stay approved.

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